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Obama Authorizes New Sanctions on Russian Economy

 
Posted Thursday, March 20th 2014 @ 6pm  by KFBK News

President Barack Obama speaks on the situation in Ukraine on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday. Obama delivered his statement before boarding Marine One and departing for Florida. (Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama says the United States is levying a new round of economic sanctions on individuals in Russia, both inside and outside the government, in retaliation for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine. 

Obama said in address from the White House this morning that he has also signed a new executive order that would allow the U.S. to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy. 

Obama identified new targets of sanctions, including more senior officials and some who are providing "material support" to the Russian government.

The new penalties mark the second round of economic sanctions the U.S. has levied on Russia this week.

Obama called Russia's annexation of Crimea an illegitimate move.

He also accused Moscow of raising tensions to dangerous levels in Ukraine.  

Meanwhile, the President urged Congress to move quickly to finalize $1 billion in energy loan guarantees to Ukraine. 

The first round of penalties had little impact in stopping Moscow from annexing the strategically important Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

Hear Obama's complete statement here: 

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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